The Basics: Learn about pain from a chiropractor Little Falls MN
Nowadays it seems that nearly everyone on the planet knows what a car is. In America, most of us own one or two. We’ve grown up around them, we’ve been on car trips, we’ve taken classes and passed tests to drive them, and through all of that, we’ve learned the basics of owning and operating a car like:
* Look behind you while in reverse.
* If the gas gauge is low, fill up your tank.
* If the check engine light comes on, bring it in to the mechanic.
* A yellow light means slow down and yield.
The list goes on and on. Though most of us understand these basics, very few of us could explain the dynamics of the internal combustion engine despite it being the very thing that makes a car a car. If you think about it, it takes no knowledge to own a car, and little knowledge to drive one. As a chiropractor Little Falls MN, I have seen that pain is very similar…
A lot of people are in pain, and it’s nearly impossible not to have at least some contact with pain in your day-to-day life. You don’t need to understand pain like a chiropractor Little Falls MN does in order to suffer from it, and you certainly don’t need to explain the complex biochemistry behind pain in order to feel it. You do, however, need to know the basics of pain in order to have as little pain as possible in your life.
And that’s what we’re going to cover next.
The Basics: A Canary in a Coal Mine
What do you suppose the purpose of pain is? To make your life uncomfortable? To get in your way? To stop you from having fun? To remind you that you’re getting older?
Of course not.
At the turn of the 20th century, carbon monoxide poisoning was one of the deadliest threats facing coal miners. You see, carbon monoxide gas forms as a result of the incomplete combustion of a fuel. While mining coal, which is a fuel, if there was a fire or an explosion, carbon monoxide gas would form and accumulate within the mine. This was a big problem because carbon monoxide gas, as you probably know, is odorless, tasteless, invisible and deadly. As none of their senses could detect it, miners wouldn’t know they were poisoned until it was too late.
Then along came a scientist who discovered what causes carbon monoxide poisoning and suggested that, because canaries are highly sensitive to toxic gases, miners should carry them down into the mines to serve as an early-warning system. As the miners were toiling away, if they saw a dead canary, it meant that they themselves were being poisoned. This warning sign bought miners precious moments and saved lives.
What does this history lesson have to do with pain?
As a dead canary was a warning sign for miners, pain is a warning sign for you.
But a warning sign of what? The answer is found in the word “pain” itself.
The word pain comes from the Latin “poena,” meaning penalty. In a way, pain means that your body is paying the penalty—which is bodily damage. When something damages the body, specialized nerves called Nociceptors (remember them?) send signals to the brain, which the brain then translates into the sensation of pain.
Pain, then, is your body alerting you to damage and often times that you need to visit a chiropractor Little Falls MN.
That answers the question of what pain is, but we haven’t answered the more important question of: why do we have pain?
The Basics: Pain’s Purpose
Imagine for a moment that you couldn’t feel pain. What would life be like? Some of you are probably thinking, “Yes, please. I’ll have some of that.” Not so fast.
Leprosy is an infectious disease that causes severe skin sores and nerve damage, so much so that the infected person can lose the ability to feel pain. Dr. Paul Brand, a world-renowned expert on the subject, in his book The Gift of Pain, warns us why not being able to feel pain is a bad thing, and alludes to what pain’s purpose really is. Without pain, we would be unaware of injury and devoid of the body’s protective mechanisms.
You may be thinking, “Okay Doc, chiropractor Little Falls MN, I get it”. Pain has a purpose.
But that doesn’t make my neck or back feel any better,” and you’d be right. It doesn’t. But knowing this information is an important step on the way to eliminate back and neck pain once and for all.